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CONFORMED COPY 

OF ORIGINAL FILED 
Los Aneeles Superior Court 


MICHAEL N. FEUER, City Attorney, SBN 111529 ™ « 0 oni7 

MARY CLARE MOLIDOR, Chief, Criminal & Special Lit., Branch, SBN 8240CI Id IU\I 
TINA HESS, Deputy Chief, Safe Neighborhoods & Gang Division 
JONATHAN CRISTALL, Supervising Assistant City Attorney, SBN T"* 

ADAM BIERMAN, Deputy City Attorney, SBN 287575 
200 North Main Street, Room 966 
Los Angeles, California 90012 
Telephone: (213)978-4090 
Fax: (213)978-8717 

E-Mail: adam.bierman@lacity.org 


By Shaunya Bolden, Deputy 


Attorneys for Plaintiff 


NO FEE - GOV’T CODE § 6103 


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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CENTRAL DISTRICT 


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THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, 
Plaintiff, 
vs. 

MIGUEL A. VALENCIA, aka MIGUEL ANGEL 
VALENCIA, aka BOXER, an individual; SENORINA 
LARA, aka SENORINA GUTIERREZ LARA, an 
individual; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, 

Defendants. 


CaseBG.:® 8 6 5 6 1 

COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND 
INJUNCTION 

[CIVIL CODE SECTION 3479, ET 
SEQ.; LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL 
CODE SECTION 41.57] 


[Unlimited Action] 


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PLAINTIFF, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, alleges as follows: 

I. INTRODUCTION 

1. This action (“Action”) is brought and prosecuted by Plaintiff, the People of the 
State of California (“Plaintiff” or “People”), for the purpose of abating and enjoining a 
dangerous gang-related public nuisance existing at a duplex located at 1331 East 43rd Street, 
Los Angeles, CA 90011 (the “Property”). This Property is a hub for gang-related violence, 
illegal parties, and other dangerous nuisance activity perpetrated by members and associates 


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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 


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of the notorious 38 th Street criminal street gang (“38 th Street”) and the closely allied Vernon 
Hood Locos criminal street gang (“Vernon Hood Locos”). The Property is located in close 
proximity to several sensitive sites in the community, including three public schools — one of 
which is less than 800 feet away, two public parks, and several churches. 

2. Since at least 2008, the Property has been the site of rampant criminal activity, 
including, but not limited to, shootings, violent altercations, gang members illegally in 
possession of firearms, possession of narcotics, and gang loitering. Violence has intensified 
as of late: 

• In November 2017, in broad daylight, a 38th Street gang member standing 
on or directly in front of the Property stopped a passerby and exclaimed, “This is 38th 
Street hood!” The gang member then pulled out a hand gun and shot at the passerby 
before retreating into the Property. 

• In September 2017, Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) officers 
received a radio call indicating that a gunman standing on or near the Property was 
brandishing a handgun and pointing it at passing vehicles, before retreating into the 
Property. 

• In August 2017, the Property was hit by a barrage of gunfire in the middle 
of the night. A neighboring house was hit in the crossfire, shattering its front window. 
LAPD officers recovered ten spent casings from the sidewalk in front of the Property. 

3. The Property is currently owned by Defendant Senorina Lara, who took 
ownership from her son, Defendant Miguel A. Valencia, in April 2017. Defendant Valencia 
owned the Property from 2002 until April 2017, and currently resides at and exercises at least 
some control over the Property. Defendant Valencia is a member of both 38th Street and 
Vernon Hood Locos. His brothers, Marco and Victor Valencia, are members of the Vernon 
Hood Locos and reside at the Property with the Defendants. Other 38th Street gang members 
and associates have also resided in various rooms and units at the Property in recent years 
and may currently reside there. 

4. The Property is a stronghold where gang members assert their dominance over 

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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 


1 the neighborhood through blatant violence and intimidation. The Property has become so 

2 indelibly connected to both 38th Street and Vernon Hood Locos that rivals gangs know to 

3 attack the Property when they want to attack either gang, putting the safety of the 

4 neighborhood at the whim of the gangs’ “beefs.” The Property also serves as a safe haven 

5 that gang members use to evade and hide from law enforcement. 

6 5. The Property has been the site of several gang-related late-night parties in 2016 

7 and 2017. Patrons attending these parties consume illegal narcotics and dance to loud, 

8 raucous, and illegally amplified music. Partygoers double park their vehicles and otherwise 

9 disrupt neighbors as they arrive and leave the parties. 

10 6 . The Property is known in the surrounding community and amongst LAPD officers 

11 as a dangerous and troublesome gang and party location. Members of the community are 

12 regularly subjected to violence, intimidation, disturbance, and fear as a result of the gangs’ 

13 activities at the Property. 

14 7 . LAPD officers have made countless attempts to persuade Defendant Valencia to 

15 curb the nuisance activity. The Los Angeles City Attorney s Office ( LACA ) sent two written 

16 notices of nuisance activity to Defendant Valencia in June and July 2017. LACA also 

17 conducted a meeting with Defendant Valencia at the Property in September 2017, whereby 

18 Defendant Valencia acknowledged the nuisance activity at the Property and indicated his 

19 intent to abate the nuisance. As evidenced by the recent violence at the Property, Defendant 

20 Valencia is unwilling to stop the dangerous and illegal activity there. Defendant Lara similarly 

21 has been unwilling, or possibly unable, to take the steps necessary to curb the nuisance, 

22 despite her long-time residence at, and ownership of, the Property. 

23 8 . This nuisance abatement prosecution is intended to compel action by the 

24 Defendants to bring the unacceptable state of affairs at the Property to a swift and permanent 

25 halt before another violent incident further threatens the health and safety of the community. 

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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 





1 Recorder of said County.” The Los Angeles County Assessor’s Parcel Number for the 

2 Property is 5116-004-030. 

3 14. The Property includes two structures on a single lot - a front house and a back 

4 house. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and upon such information and belief alleges, that 

5 the Property has been illegally divided and constructed upon to create at least four separate 

6 residential units at the Property - two in the front house and two in the back house. The 

7 Property’s physical appearance is otherwise unkempt and sends a distinct message that no 

8 one, with the possible exception of the gang, is in charge. 

9 15. The Property is located in close proximity to several sensitive sites in the 

10 community, including, but not limited to: Ascot Elementary School (approx. 794 feet away), 

11 Jefferson High School (approx. 1124 feet away), Ross Snyder Recreation Center (approx. 

12 1157 feet away), Roberti Early Education Center (approx. 1457 feet away), Central Avenue 

13 Jazz Park (approx. 1483 feet away), and several churches within 2000 feet of the Property. 

14 III. THE PUBLIC NUISANCE LAW 

15 16. The PNL, Civil Code section 3479, defines a public nuisance as “[anything which 

16 is injurious to health, including, but not limited to, the illegal sale of controlled substances, or is 

17 indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to 

18 interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property....” (See City of Bakersfield v. Miller 

19 (1966) 64 Cal.2d 93, 99 ["The Legislature has defined in general terms the word 'nuisance' in 

20 Civil Code section 3479. ..."].) 

2 1 17. Civil Code section 3480 defines a public nuisance as “one which affects at the 

22 same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, 

23 although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.” 

24 18. The case law is “replete with examples” of the “threat violent street gangs ... 

25 pose to the safety of peaceful Californians.” ( Castaneda v. Olsher (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1205, 

26 1216.) In a case involving gang-related gunfire similar to what is occurring at the Property 

27 here, the California Supreme Court explicitly recognized that “[sjtreet gang activity can often 

28 subject” innocent bystanders “to unacceptable levels of risk.” {Id.) In Medina v. Hillshore 

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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 



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Partners (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 477, 486, involving a wrongful death claim by the mother of a 
young man shot by gang members at an apartment complex, the Court said, “We agree that 
the congregation of gangs poses a foreseeable risk of harm to the public.” In particular, the 
whole spectrum of typical street gang conduct, ranging from loitering, to public drinking and 
boisterousness, to drug dealing, to gunfire, has been held to “easily meet the statutory 
standard” for a public nuisance under Civil Code section 3479. ( People ex ret. Gallo v. Acuna 
(1997) 14 Cal.4th 1090, 1120.) 

19. Civil Code section 3491 provides the methods by which public nuisances such as 
those alleged herein may be abated. Civil Code section 3491 states that the “remedies 
against a public nuisance are indictment or information, a civil action or abatement.” 

Abatement is "accomplished by a court of equity by means of an injunction proper and suitable 
to the facts of each case." ( Sullivan v. Royer (1887) 72 Cal. 248, 249.) 

20. Code of Civil Procedure section 731 authorizes a city attorney to bring an 
action to enjoin or abate a public nuisance. It provides, in relevant part, “[a] civil action may be 
brought in the name of the people of the State of California to abate a public nuisance ... by 
the city attorney of any town or city in which such nuisance exists.” 

21. “[Sjtrict liability for nuisance historically attends the possession and control of 
land.” ( Leslie Salt Co. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission 
(1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 605, 618 n. 15 & 619). “It is immaterial whether the acts” of the 
persons sought to be held liable for a nuisance “be considered willful or negligent; the essential 
fact is that, whatever be the cause, the result is a nuisance.” ( Snow v. Marian Realty 
Company (1931) 212 Cal. 622, 625-26; see also Sturges v. Charles L. Harney, Inc. (1958) 165 
Cal.App.2d 306, 318 ["a nuisance and liability therefore may exist without negligence"]; People 
v. McCadden (1920) 48 Cal.App. 790, 792 ["A judgment supported on findings that such 
nuisance was conducted and maintained on the premises in question, regardless of the 
knowledge of the owner thereof, is sufficient. Such knowledge on the part of the owner... is 
unnecessary."].) This strict standard is because "the object of the act is not to punish; its 
purpose is to effect a reformation of the property itself." ( People v. Bayside Land Co. (1920) 

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1 48 Cal.App. 257, 261.) The fact that a defendant’s conduct consists of omission rather than 

2 affirmative action “does not preclude nuisance liability.” ( Birke v. Oakwood Worldwide (2009) 

3 169 Cal.App.4th 1540, 1552.) Any party that owns or otherwise controls property has an 

4 “indisputable duty to take reasonable steps to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe 

5 condition.” {Id.) 

6 IV. LAMC PROHIBITION ON LOUD AND RAUCOUS NOISE 

7 22. LAMC Code section 41.57 prohibits certain instances of loud and raucous noise. 

8 Specifically, it states that “it is unlawful for any person to cause, allow or permit the emission or 

9 transmission of any loud or raucous noise from any sound making or sound amplifying device 

10 in his possession or under his control. (1) upon any private property, or (2) upon any public 

11 street alley, sidewalk or thoroughfare, or (3) in or upon any public park or other public place or 

12 property." 

13 23. LAMC section 11.00(1) explicitly designates violations of the LAMC as public 

14 nuisances. This same section authorizes LACA to bring an abatement action on behalf of the 

15 People of the State of California. 

16 24. A violation of LAMC section 41.57 constitutes a per se public nuisance under 

17 LAMC section 11.00(1). “[T]he legislature has the power to declare certain uses of property a 

18 nuisance and such use thereupon becomes a nuisance per se.” ( McClatchy v. Laguna Lands 

19 Limited (1917) 32 Cal.App. 718, 725.) “[W]here the law expressly declares something to be a 

20 nuisance, then no inquiry beyond its existence need be made,” the Court engages in no 

21 balancing of factors, “and in this sense its mere existence is said to be a nuisance per se.” 

22 {Jones v. Union Pacific Railroad (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 1053,1068.) This rule is applicable to 

23 local legislatures, and, “by ordinance the city legislative body may declare what constitutes a 

24 nuisance.. . ” {City of Costa Mesa v. Soffer (1992) 11 Cal. App. 4th 378, 383 [citing 

25 Government Code section 38771]; See also People ex rel. Feuer v. Superior Court 

26 (Cahuenga’s the Spot) (2015) 234 Cal. App. 4th 1360, 1385.) When local law makes such a 

27 declaration, as the LAMC does in section 11.00(1) (“any violation of any provision of this Code 

28 is declared to be a public nuisance...”), those violations are public nuisances perse. 

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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 


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V. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION FOR PUBLIC NUISANCE 


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[Civil Code section 3479, et seq. - 
Against All Defendants and DOES 1 through 50] 

25. Plaintiff incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through 24 of this Complaint and 
makes them part of this First Cause of Action as though fully set forth herein. 

26. From an exact date unknown but at least since 2008, through the present time, 
Defendants, and DOES 1 through 50, have alternately owned, operated, managed, and used, 
and/or directly or indirectly permitted to be occupied and used, the Property in such a manner 
as to constitute a public nuisance in accordance with Civil Code sections 3479 and 3480. The 
public nuisance, as described herein, is injurious to health, indecent or offensive to the senses, 
and/or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to substantially and unreasonably 
interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by those persons living in the 
surrounding community. The public nuisance at the Property consists of, but is not limited to, 
the occurrence of gunfire on and around the Property, violent intimidation of community 
members, physical altercations, gang members illegally in possession of firearms, possession 
of narcotics, gang loitering, and illegal late-night parties. 

27. Defendants, and DOES 1 through 50, in owning, conducting, maintaining, and/or 
permitting the use of the Property, directly or indirectly, as a public nuisance, have engaged in 
wrongful conduct and caused a serious threat to the general health, safety, and welfare of the 
law-abiding tenants at the Property and persons in the area surrounding the Property. Further, 
Defendant Valencia has actively participated in much of the wrongful conduct that comprises 
the nuisance activity described herein. 

28. Unless Defendants, and DOES 1 through 50, are restrained and enjoined by 
order of this Court, they will continue to use, occupy, and maintain, and to aid, abet, or permit, 
directly or indirectly, the use, occupation, and maintenance of the Property, together with the 
fixtures and appurtenances located therein, for the purpose complained of herein, to the great 
and irreparable damage of Plaintiff and in violation of California law. 

VI. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION FOR PROHIBITED NOISE 

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COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION 


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[LAMC section 41.57 -- 

2 Against All Defendants and DOES 1 through 50] 

3 29. Plaintiff incorporates by reference Paragraphs 1 through 28 of this Complaint and 

4 makes them part of this Second Cause of Action as though fully set forth herein. 

5 30. On several occasions in 2016 and 2017, Defendants, and DOES 1 through 50, 

6 have caused, allowed, or permitted the emission or transmission of loud and raucous noise 

7 from a sound amplifying device or devices under their control. Specifically, Defendant 

8 Valencia, and DOES 1 through 50 have hosted “after-hours” parties at the Property, which they 

9 have advertised on social media as events to consume narcotics and listen to DJ-curated 

10 amplified music, while Defendant Lara has permitted such activity. These parties occurred 

11 during both respective Defendants’ periods of ownership. The noise from these parties at the 

12 Property has been loud and raucous and has unreasonably annoyed, disturbed, impaired, or 

13 endangered the comfort, repose, health, or safety of neighbors of the Property in violation of 

14 LAMC section 41.57 and constituting a perse public nuisance under LAMC 11.10(1). 

15 31. Unless Defendants, and DOES 1 through 50, are restrained and enjoined by 

16 order of this Court, they will continue to cause, allow, or permit this loud and raucous noise at 

17 the Property, which constitutes a per se public nuisance and unreasonably annoys, disturbs, 

18 impairs, and endangers the comfort, repose, health, and safety of the residents of neighboring 

19 homes in the community. 

20 PRAYER 

21 WHEREFORE, PLAINTIFF PRAYS THAT THIS COURT ORDER, ADJUDGE AND 

22 DECREE AS FOLLOWS: 

23 AS TO THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION 

24 AS TO DEFENDANTS and DOES 1 through 50: 

25 1. That the Property, together with the fixtures and moveable property therein and 

26 thereon, be declared a public nuisance and be permanently abated as such in accordance with 

27 Civil Code section 3491. 

28 2. That each Defendant, and any agents, officers, employees, and anyone acting 


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on their behalf, and their heirs and assignees, be preliminarily and perpetually enjoined from 
operating, conducting, using, occupying, or in any way permitting the use of the Property as a 
public nuisance. Such orders should include, but not be limited to, closure of the Property for a 
one-year term, a permanent injunction mandating physical and managerial improvements if 
and when the Property is re-occupied, stay away orders against certain individuals, and such 
other orders as are appropriate to remedy the nuisance on the Property and enhance the . 
abatement process. 

3. Such costs as may occur in abating said nuisance at the Property and such other 
costs as the Court shall deem just and proper. 

4. That Plaintiff be granted such other and further relief as the Court deems just and 
proper, including demolition of the Property. 

AS TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION 

AS TO DEFENDANTS and DOES 1 through 50: 

1. That each Defendant, and any agents, officers, employees, and anyone acting 
on their behalf, and their heirs and assignees, be declared in violation of LAMC section 41.57 
and LAMC section 11.00(1) and be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from operating, 
conducting, using, occupying, or in anyway permitting the emission or transmission of any 
loud or raucous noise from any sound making or sound amplifying device in their possession 
or under their control. 

2. That, pursuant to LAMC Code section 11.00(1), each Defendant be assessed a 
civil penalty of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) for each and every act that has 
occurred in violation of LAMC section 41.57. 

3. That Plaintiff be granted such other and further relief as the Court deems just and 
proper. 

AS TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION 

1. That Plaintiff recover the amount of the filing fees and the amount of the fee for 
the service of process or notices that would have been paid but for Government Code section 
6103.5, designating it as such. The fees may, at the Court’s discretion, include the amount of 

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the fees for certifying and preparing transcripts. 

2. That Plaintiff be granted such other and further relief as the Court deems just and 
proper. 

DATED: December 12, 2017 Respectfully submitted, 

MICHAEL N. FEUER, City Attorney 

JONATHAN CRISTALL, Supervising Assistant City Attorney 


ADAM BIERMAN, Deputy City"Attorney 
Attorneys for Plaintiff, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE 
OF CALIFORNIA 


COMPLAINT FOR ABATEMENT AND INJUNCTION